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Horse Racing – 1986 – 112th Kentucky Derby PreRace Show – With Al Michaels + Bill Hartack

This video features ABC’s Al Michaels and Bill Hartack providing all the trimmings for setting the table at the 112th running of the Kentucky Derby….including overview of the upcoming race….along with interviews with key trainers….plus a rundown of the entire field and what each horse brings to the table….along with the singing of My Old Kentucky Home by the Stephen Foster Singers.  

     Al Michaels (born November 12, 1944) is a legendary American television sportscaster…..who is now employed by NBC Sports…..after spending nearly three decades (1977–2006) with ABC Sports,  Michaels is known for his many years calling play-by-play of National Football League games, including nearly two decades with ABC’s Monday Night Football….and over a decade with NBC Sunday Night Football. He is also known for famous calls in other sports, including the Miracle on Ice at the 1980 Winter Olympics….and the earthquake-interrupted Game 3 of the 1989 World Series….and his coverage of many of ABC’s Kentucky Derby programs….as seen in this video herewith. 

Al Michaels’ move from ABC to NBC in 2006 was notable….as it was part of an agreement between the two networks’ parent companies….The Walt Disney Company and NBC Universal, respectively….that allowed Disney to take ownership of the intellectual property of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit from NBC Universal.

Michaels partner in this video seen herewith was none other than legendary jockey Bill Hartack Jr. (December 9, 1932 – November 26, 2007)….was a Hall of Fame jockey….who was small in stature….when at age 17 he stood 5 ft. 4 in. (1.63 m) and weighed 111 lb (50 kg)….which a size that enabled him to pursue a career as a jockey in Thoroughbred horse racing.

By his third season of racing, Hartack was the United States’ leading jockey….while going on to win that honor on three more occasions throughout his career….as he and Eddie Arcaro are the only two jockeys to ever win the Kentucky Derby five times….as well as winning the Preakness Stakes three times….and the Belmont Stakes once. 

Bill Hartack rode Tim Tam to victory in the 1958 Florida Derby….but a week before the Kentucky Derby broke a leg and had to give up his ride on Tim Tam….with replacement jockey Ismael Valenzuela….who won the race.

During his riding career between 1953 and 1974 in the United States, Hartack rode 4,272 winners in 21,535 mounts.  From 1974 to 1980 he raced in Hong Kong, then retired in 1981…..after leading the nation in races won four times…. and was the first rider to have purse earnings of $3 million in a season.

He was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in 1959 at the early age of 26.


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